Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



…one of these three players with the 17th pick overall when the NFL draft commences Thursday night: 

*Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State. 

*Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland. 

*Darnell Wright, OT, Tennessee. 

Porter is the obvious choice. Banks seems the backup plan at corner. 

Wright is interesting. 

He’s 6-foot-5, 333 pounds and with long arms. He’s smart. He’s improving. His draft stock went up since Tennessee’s season ended. (I’m amused when that happens while a player isn’t playing. But the NFL combine, pro days and the Senior Bowl have impact.) Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin connected with Wright at the Senior Bowl and likes him. 

Wright started four seasons at Tennessee. He played mostly right tackle. Wright started at left tackle in 2021 but is thought to be better on the right side. 

If the Steelers select Wright at 17th overall, he should stay at right tackle. Asking a first-round pick to switch away from his strength is dicey. (I don’t feel great about Chuks Okorafor switching from RT to LT, either.) 

So, given the uncertainty described, I probably don't take Wright. 

That doesn’t mean the Steelers won’t.

NFL Combine

Photo: Getty Images

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